06.07.2012 - 14.08.2012 22 °C
An overnight bus and taxi sent us to Huanchaco in Northern Peru, a small surfing and fishing town which is 15 minutes from Trujillo, Peru`s third largest city. Well known as a gringo trap, we fell straight into it, and after only planning a 3 night stop, we have ended up staying for 6 weeks!
During our first few days we sampled more ceviche, which is a dish made with raw fish, lime juice and chilli, delicious, but we always cross our fingers and hope it´s not going to make us sick!! Watched many spectacular sunsets, as the sun turns into a big orange fireball on the hazy horizon. Checked out Trujillo city centre, which is full of colourful buildings and a plaza, of couse! We also took a few surfing lessons, choosing the very good Muchik surf school from the bounty of surf schools available in town, although somehow we´re not really any better than when we started! It didn´t help that one lesson was cut short by Paul turning geen and bolting in to the toilet to struggle with the full body wetsuit..!
There´s a great swell, but the beach is not quite up to the Australian standard we´re used to. Once you dodge the many rocks, sea urchins and jellyfish it does the job. We have been pretty shocked by the amount of litter strewn across it, and even locals strolling up, unzipping and using it as a toilet! But all this aside it is a gorgeous beach, we´re just a little bit spoilt back home! Plus it´s lined with traditional reed fishing boats, Caballitos de totora, used by the locals to get a fresh catch fish early in the mornings.
So once we got our act together, and decided we needed to do more with our time than visit the bakery for their lemon merangue pie, we signed up to do some voluneering with an organisation based in Hunchaco called Otra Cosa. Paul´s joined the office to help out with the marketing side of things, and I´m helping out at a wawa wasi, which means daycare centre in Quechan, one of the traditional indian languages of Peru. There are 8 childen aged betwen 1-4yrs cared for by one madre (mother) from 8am to 5pm in a room in her house. Pretty big job, so they are always thankful for volunteers. The wawa wasi is in a shanty town and the children are selected as being those most in need of help, and the meals they get in the wawa wasi may be the only meals they have for the day. It´s certainly been an eye opener and has tested my spanish, but the children are just gorgeous and my madre is a pleasure to work with.
We have also moved into a house in town, which was such a find, we have a massive room and bathroom and access to kitchen etc it´s so nice to have our own space after 6 months in hostels. We also have some great housemates, lots of Aussies, one is a yoga teacher across the road (Lucy´s happy) and there´s a dog. So this is our new family for the next few weeks as we settle into life in Peru.
If anyone is thinking of doing volunteering in Peru, get in touch with Otra Cosa: www.otracosa.org